Roanoke discusses budget, proposes maintaining tax rate for 23rd year

Roanoke will maintain the same tax rate it adopted in 1996.

Roanoke will maintain the same tax rate it adopted in 1996.

Roanoke City Council is proposing maintaining its tax rate for the 23rd consecutive year.

At its meeting Aug. 13, the council discussed adopting a tax rate of $0.37512 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2019-20. It first adopted the rate in 1996.

“Our budget hasn’t gone up tremendously. It’s conservative budgeting, I would say,” Mayor Scooter Gierisch said of maintaining the tax rate.

The council also discussed a proposed FY 2019-20 operating budget of just over $21.35 million, a 4.54% increase over the current fiscal year. Most of the bump is due to proposed increases in health care benefits and 3.5% merit-based pay raises for city workers.

In addition to increased expenses, the city also expects to see an increase in revenue. The city expects nearly $21.4 million in revenue, a 4.65% gain over the current fiscal year. Most of the boost will be fueled by property taxes, which are slated to grow by 13.19% over FY 2018-19 due to increased values and new construction.

The council approved holding public hearings on Aug. 20 and 27 on its proposed tax rate. The council is expected to adopt its tax rate Sept. 10.

It will also hold a public hearing Sept. 10 to gather input on its budget. It expects to adopt the budget at the same meeting.

The hearings will be held at 7 p.m. at Roanoke City Hall, 500 S. Oak St., Roanoke.

Roanoke’s fiscal year 2019-20 begins Oct. 1.
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